“I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
What are some of the great truths confirmed by the resurrection of Jesus, and in the belief of which the believer is built up, by this glorious and life-inspiring doctrine? They are many and vast. Indeed, it would not be too much to affirm of the entire system of Divine truth, that it depended mainly for its evidence upon the single fact of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
In the first place, it establishes the Bible to be the revelation of God. If the types which shadowed forth, and the prophecies which predicted, the resurrection of the Lord, received not their substance and their fulfillment in the accomplishment of that fact, then the Scriptures were not true, the types were meaningless, and the predictions were false. For thus do they unite in setting forth this glorious and precious truth.
First, as it regards the types. What was the receiving back of Isaac after he had been laid upon the altar, and the knife raised to slay him, but the shadowing forth of Christ’s resurrection? As the binding of him upon the wood prefigured the sacrificial death of Christ, so the unbinding of him from altar, and his surrender to his father the third day from the time that he received the command to sacrifice him, prefigured the risen life of Christ. Significant type! radiant with the glory of a Jesus! In the one part we see Him dying, the other part we see Him rising. The one shadows forth His atoning sacrifice, the other His risen glory.
And here did the mind of Abraham rest. His towering faith rose above the type; he looked beyond the shadow. His soul embraced a crucified and a risen Lord. Strong in the exercise of a prospective faith, he beheld before him as vividly, and he reposed in as firmly, a dying and a living Redeemer, as did John when the sweet voice broke upon his ear, “I am He that lives and was dead.” “By faith Abraham, when was tried, offered up Isaac…Accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.”
The type of the slain and the living goat embodies in vivid outline the same essential doctrine. Aaron was commanded to kill the goat of the offering, and bring his blood within the veil. But upon the head of the live goat he was to place both his hands, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and then to send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. “And he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” Our adorable Lord was the glorious substance of this expressive type. Both parts met and were realized in Him. “He was delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification.”
The prophetic Scriptures are equally as explicit in setting forth the resurrection of Christ. “My flesh also shall rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in hell, neither will You suffer Your Holy One to see corruption.” “You are my Son, this day have I begotten You.” “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” Now mark how these portions of the prophetic Scriptures are quoted by the apostle Paul, and strictly applied by him to the resurrection of Christ. Acts 13: “But God raised Him from the dead: and He was seen many days of those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God has fulfilled the same unto us, their children, in that He raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.
And as concerning that He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He said this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Why He says also in another Psalm, You shall not suffer Your Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption; but He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.” How brightly does the doctrine of a risen Savior shine throughout this remarkable portion of God’s holy word! Truly the life of Jesus is the life of the Scriptures.
Again, “Your dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” “I know that my Redeemer lives.” Thus does the resurrection of Christ from the dead confirm the truth of God’s holy word. The types find their substance, and the prophets their fulfillment, in Him who was emphatically the “plague of death, and the destruction of the grave.”